Along Highway 80 in Alabama’s Black Belt

Called the Black Belt because of its rich, dark soil, the area of south Alabama traversed by Highway 80 on its route across the southern U.S. was the staging ground for some of Alabama’s most significant moments in history. It was here that DeSoto met Tuscaloosa, cotton plantations flourished, the Confederacy was born, and civil rights were won. Follow Highway 80 through Demopolis, Selma, Montgomery, and Tuskegee on a journey through Alabama history.

This 1999 documentary which I wrote, narrated and edited for the series, “The Alabama Experience,” includes nice camera work by Ricky Harmon. The series was produced by the University of Alabama Center for Public Television and broadcast on Alabama Public Television.

I’ve never done anything exactly like this before or since. I originally planned to use interviews with several local history experts but as Ricky and I traveled across the state, I ultimately decided to feature as many of his images as possible and put them in context with narration only. I received both negative and positive feedback for this project but I’m glad I did it.

At the time, various groups were studying ways to encourage tourism in the area. I listened to their ideas and added some of my own.

DVDs may be purchased for $21.00 each using Visa, MasterCard, or Discover by calling 1-800-463-8825 (Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Central).

Mail orders send check or money order to:
University of Alabama Center for Public Television & Radio
P. O. Box 870150
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0150